How to break the Yo-Yo Diet Cycle for Good
So many of us are lured by the promise of the next new diet that promises great results in very little time. These diets often do work and you will lose weight…the problem is it doesn’t always stay off and once old habits return the kg sneak back on. This trend of yo-yo dieting is nothing new but it is one that people usually want to avoid. Firstly I would suggest getting away from the word ‘diet’. Rightly or wrongly it implies something that we will follow for a period of time and often feels like it should be a hardship! Really to embark on long term weight loss you need to understand that eating healthier needs to be a way of life and most importantly it should not be hard! Food is there to nourish us not punish us.
There are ways to overcome the repeated ‘diet’ cycle and start a healthier regime. Pick which ones you think would suit you best….
1. Keep a food and activity diary as this can help to identify patterns in eating and activity that may be unhealthy, many of which you may be completely unaware of.
2. Develop an awareness of triggers that may cause overeating in your life. Is it something practical like when you have a cup of tea?, Is when the kids have gone to bed? Or is it an emotional trigger?
3. Before you eat, ask yourself are you actually hungry? So you know you have eaten recently but you feel like something else…Have a glass of water, sometimes thirst is masqueraded as hunger. If you still feel like eating, wait twenty minutes before you do so. Distract yourself and chat to someone or do a chore.
4. Identify some social support to help keep you motivated. Instead of meeting a friend or neighbour for a bun and a coffee, arrange to go for a walk with them instead.
5. Make a list of the excuses you regularly use to explain your weight gain. Write them down – sometimes it helps to see them in black and white to be brutally honest with yourself and to see them for what they are – excuses that are preventing you from reaching a healthy weight and a positive attitude to your body.
6. Set realistic goals and remember that you did not gain the weight overnight and it will not go overnight. A healthy loss is 0.5-1 kg per week. If you set unrealistic goals, you are setting yourself up for failure, deliberately sabotaging your own efforts.
7. Practice mindful eating- Mindful eating is eating with the intention of caring for health, both physical and mental. It is based on choosing foods for the right reasons that is to fuel and to nourish our bodies.
8. Keep a note of your sleep pattern…are you getting enough rest?
9. Keep a note of how much fluid you take…are you getting 1.5-2L of fluid daily?
These tools can help you make day to day healthier eating choices and there avoid embarking on the yo yo diet cycle.